Moose, Royals wearing HBP bruises as badges
ANAHEIM -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is sporting a Royal blue/deep purple bruise the size of a pineapple on his right leg.
And he's nothing short of proud of it.
"Nice, huh?" Moustakas said, showing a reporter.
But Moustakas isn't alone. There are bruises on several Royals hitters, the result of an American League-leading nine hit by pitches after left fielder Alex Gordon and first baseman Eric Hosmer were plunked in Saturday's contest against the Angels.
But the Royals don't believe opponents are targeting them.
"It smelled funny with the White Sox," manager Ned Yost said. "But Moose got hit twice here Friday night and I never thought any of those were intentional."
Gordon, who was also hit on Friday night, agreed.
"The only questionable one was by [White Sox starter Jeff] Samardzija," Gordon said. "But I don't think there's anything to it in general. They're pitching inside and our guys are taking [the hit by pitches]. Hey, if it gets you on base, that's good for us. If they want to put us on base, that's good."
Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum is all for his guys getting on base by whatever means available.
"The game is about getting on base," Sveum said. "I'll be happy to have our on-base percentage the rest of the year -- we'll be all right if we do."
Entering Saturday's game against the Angels, the Royals had a .400 on-base percentage, second best in the league.
"I'll take it," Moustakas said. "Like on Friday night, I get hit and we get the bases are loaded. Then LoCain [Lorenzo Cain] walks and we get kind of a free run. That's beautiful."
Moustakas also doesn't think opponents are going after the Royals on purpose.
"I think what's happening is that pitchers are taught to make their misses inside," Moustakas said, "so if you're pitching inside to begin with, you don't want to miss over the plate. You miss even further inside."
Yost subscribes to that theory as well.
"What's happening is that pitchers are throwing that two-seamer that breaks back," Yost said, "and this early in the season the pitchers don't have spot-on command. So guys get hit."